Thanks for the report. I was worried about MacOS the most, I don’t have an easy way to test it either.
You absolutely can. Your work on KiCad stepup and 3d model support is what partly inspired me. Let me take a chance to thank you for that
Regarding highlighting particular component, I’ve thought about that before and issue is not quite straightforward. I’ve caught myself frequently using filter box to do two different things, find reference (which is what you are asking for) and find group containing reference (which is what the behavior currently is). Since I can do the former in Pcbnew easily I opted to implement the latter in plugin. I think one input field is just not enough to capture the intent, I will probably add another “reference lookup” input.
Buttons in plugins are not officially supported, I kind of rammed it in with a hack. If/when KiCad officially supports buttons hopefully they will add tools to selectively disable buttons from some plugins too. I will advocate for that on dev mailing list.
Main plugin code does not depend on wx at all, it only needs pcbnew.py and _pcbnew.pyd in python classpath. That gives me hope that running it from command line should work with no issues.